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Retainers are allies of the character that they can call on regularly. They may be friends, workers under the character’s employ, informants, or family members. The important thing is that these individuals are loyal to the character and will act on the character’s behalf. During character creation, a character may begin with a number of Retainers equal to the character’s starting Resources. Each of these Retainers begins with a single Exceptional Quality. If a Retainer is lost, the character does not gain a replacement. If the character loses Resources, they do not suddenly lose their Retainers.

Designing a Retainer

Retainers have three important aspects which must be determined when the Retainer is being designed:

The Retainer must have some connection to either the character or to the role they play in society. This can be the Retainer’s occupation, or it can explain what their connection to the character is.

Each Retainer begins with one Attribute at 2. All other Attributes begin at 1.

Each Retainer begins with either two Skills at 2 or one Skill at 3. These must be bought if the retainer is not one that is the result of the Allies talent or given from the point of character generation.

Exceptional Qualities
Retainers gained during character creation, or with the Allies talent, gain one Exceptional Trait to spend.


Each Retainer begins with a Base Cost of 1 and Difficulty of 0 to hire. Hiring a Retainer is a Social roll, and may use the Presence Skill or another Skill appropriate to the type of Retainer being hired (such as Profession or Subterfuge). The Cost of a Retainer is modified by the following:

If the Retainer has Mental or Social as their primary Attribute, increase the Cost by +2. If the Retainer has Spiritual as their primary Attribute, increase the Cost by +4.

If the Retainer has any Specialties due to Skills chosen, increase the Cost of the Retainer by +2 for each Specialty the Retainer possesses.

A character can make only one roll to gain Retainers per day. As is normal with purchases, each additional Retainer the character wishes to hire increases the Cost and Difficulty by one. If the character is hiring different types of Retainers, the highest Cost is used to determine the Base Cost of the Resource Roll.

Example Retainers

Name  Attribute  Skill 
Alchemist  Mental  Craft (Alchemy)
Animal Handler  Social  Animal Ken 
Apothecary  Mental  Medicine, Herbalist 
Appraiser  Mental  Business 
Architect  Mental  Profession (Architect) 
Armourer  Physical  Craft (Armour Smith) 
Assassin  Mental  Stealth, Herbalist
Barrister  Social  Diplomacy 
Blacksmith  Physical  Craft (Blacksmith) 
Body Guard  Physical  <Weapon>, Search
Book Binder  Mental  Profession (Book Making) 
Bowyer  Mental  Craft (Bow Making) 
Brazier  Mental  Artistry (Brazier), Profession (Brazier) 
Brewer  Mental  Profession (Brewing) 
Butler  Social  Diplomacy, Integrity 
Carpenter  Mental  Craft (Wood Working) 
Cartographer  Mental  Profession (Cartographer), Survival (<Region>) 
Cartwright  Mental  Profession (Cartwright) 
Chandler  Mental  Profession (Chandler) 
Clerk  Mental  Profession (Clerk) 
Cobbler  Mental  Profession (Cobbler) 
Coiffeur  Social  Artistry (Hairdressing), Profession (Hairdresser) 
Coffin Maker  Mental  Profession (Coffin Maker) 
Composer  Social  Artistry (Composition) 
Cook  Mental  Profession (Cook) 
Cooper  Mental  Profession (Cooper) 
Courier (In Town)  Mental  Lore (<Region>), Streetwise 
Courier (Out of Town)  Mental  Ride, Survival (<Region>) 
Copper Smith  Physical  Artistry (Copper), Craft (Copper) 
Cutpurse  Physical  Larceny, Stealth
Dowser  Spiritual  Awareness 
Dyer  Mental  Profession (Dyer) 
Embalmer  Mental  Artistry (Embalming) 
Engineer  Mental  Craft (Construction), Profession (Engineer) 
Entertainer  Social  Perform (<any>) 
Fletcher  Mental  Craft (Bow Making) 
Footman  Social  Diplomacy, Lore (Nobility) 
Gem Cutter  Mental  Artistry (Gems) 
Gold Smith  Mental  Artistry (Gold), Craft (Gold) 
Governess  Social  Diplomacy, Socialise 
Guide (City)  Social  Lore (<Region>), Streetwise 
Guide (Wilderness)  Mental  Lore (Navigation), Survival (<Region>) 
Haberdasher  Mental  Artistry (Hats), Profession (Hat Maker) 
Healer  Spiritual  Herbalist, Medicine 
Horner  Mental  Artistry (Horn Working) 
Interpreter  Mental  Linguistics, Diplomacy 
Jeweller  Mental  Artistry (Jewellery), Craft (Jewellery) 
Labourer  Physical  Craft (<job>), Profession (<job>) 
Launderer  Physical  Profession (Launderer) 
Limner / Painter  Social  Artistry (Illumination), Linguistics 
Locksmith  Mental  Craft (Lock Smithing) 
Maid  Social  Profession (Maid) 
Masseuse  Physical  Perform (Massage), Profession (Masseuse) 
Matchmaker  Social  Diplomacy, Integrity 
Midwife  Mental  Herbalist, Medicine 
Miller  Physical  Profession (Miller) 
Navigator  Mental  Lore (Navigation), Sail 
Nursemaid  Social  Profession (Nursemaid) 
Painter (Portrait)  Mental  Artistry (Painting) 
Parchment Maker  Mental  Profession (Parchment Maker) 
Pewterer  Mental  Craft (Pewter) 
Polisher / Cleaner  Mental  Profession (Cleaner) 
Porter  Physical  Profession (Porter) 
Potter  Mental  Craft (Pottery) 
Sage  Mental  Lore (<specialties>) 
Sailor (Crewman)  Physical  Sail, Profession (Sailor) 
Sailor (Mate)  Mental  Presence, Profession (Sailor) 
Scribe  Mental  Literacy, Artistry (Scribing) 
Sculptor  Social  Artistry (Sculpting) 
Shepherd  Physical  Animal Ken 
Shipwright  Physical  Artistry (Design), Craft (Shipwright) 
Silver Smith  Mental  Artistry (Silver), Craft (Silver) 
Skinner  Physical  Craft (Hide) 
Soap Maker  Mental  Profession (Soap Making) 
Soldier  Physical  <Weapon>, War Craft
Sooth Sayer  Spiritual  Occultism 
Tanner  Mental  Craft (Tanning) 
Teamster  Social  Animal Ken, Ride 
Valet  Social  Diplomacy 
Vintner  Social  Craft (Wine) 
Weapon Smith  Physical  Craft (Weapon Smithing) 
Weaver  Mental  Artistry (Weaving), Profession (Weaving) 
Wheelwright  Physical  Craft (Wheel Making) 

Using a Retainer

A Retainer acts as Equipment for when the character wishes to make a roll. If the Retainer is present, and has the Skill being used by the character, the character gains a bonus to their die roll just as if using appropriate equipment. The maximum number of Retainers which can be used for assisting in a roll is equal to the rank of the Skill the character is using. Alternatively, the character may have their Retainers perform tasks on the character’s behalf, using their own Attributes and Skills.

Exceptional Qualities

Like equipment, Retainers can be Exceptional. When hiring a Retainer, the Cost and Difficulty is increased by +1 each for each Exceptional Trait that the Retainer has. When taking Exceptional Qualities, the Retainer must obey the rules for Growth and character creation. The number of Exceptional Qualities a Retainer has must be recorded, as improving a Retainer later is dependant on the number of Exceptional Qualities the Retainer has. A Retainer can only begin with a number of Exceptional Qualities equal to the rank of the Skill being used to hire the Retainer.

Exceptional Traits

  • Gain Nationality and Attribute Bonus for Nationality
  • +2 to Skill
  • +1 Talent
  • Gain Order, and also gains the Bonus Skill from the Order.
  • +1 Ability from Order Retainer is a member of.
  • Gain a Race preferred by Nation of Retainer
  • Gain Sorcery preferred by Nation or Race of Retainer
  • Gain Psionics preferred by Nation of Retainer
  • Gain a School (requires Sorcery)
  • Gain a Gift (requires Psionics)
  • Gain a Power preferred by Race of Retainer

The following require two Exceptional Traits

  • +1 to Attribute
  • Gain a Race not preferred by Nation of Retainer
  • Gain Sorcery not preferred by Nation or Race of Retainer
  • Gain Psionics not preferred by Nation of Retainer
  • Gain a Power not preferred by Race of Retainer

The following requires three Exceptional Traits

  • Gain a Power if Retainer does not possess Race
  • Gain +1 Growth (see below)

Improving Growth

It is possible to attempt to hire an Exceptional Retainer with a higher Growth than normal. Each +1 Growth requires 3 Exceptional Qualities, but also increases the Resource Cost and Difficulty of gaining the Retainer by the level of Growth the Retainer is gaining. These costs are cumulative. A Retainer gains a +1 bonus to each Attribute and +5 Skill Points to split among the Retainer’s Skills. The Retainer is still restricted by Growth for maximum values, as normal.

Example: Hiring a Growth 2 Retainer costs +5 Resources and +5 Difficulty (3 Exceptional Qualities and +2 for Growth 2). Hiring a Growth 3 Retainer costs +9 Resources and +9 Difficulty (6 Exceptional Qualities, and +3 for Growth 3).

Improving Retainers

Once a Retainer has been hired, the character may try to improve them. Besides using Profession (Teacher), the character can pay to improve the Retainer normally, by spending Resources. The maximum number of Exceptional Qualities a Retainer can have is equal to the character’s Might.


The Cost of improving a Retainer is equal to the number of Exceptional Traits the Retainer already has, plus the number of Exceptional Traits the character is trying to give the Retainer. If the character is attempting to increase the Retainer’s Growth, the increased Cost for such is added.


The Difficulty of improving the Retainer is equal to the number of Exceptional Traits the character is trying to give the Retainer. If the character is attempting to increase the Retainer’s Growth, the increased Difficulty for such is added.

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